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How MSPs Can Leverage Cybersecurity in 2017

In an age when political parties and businesses are getting hacked every day, some businesses and individuals are reluctant to do web-based business. They fear that they will be the victims of identity theft or similar issues. It is incumbent on businesses to show their customer that their data is safe, otherwise potential customers are likely to find other places to spend their money.

One thing for businesses to remember – cybercriminals steal $600 billion a year. That is more than any other kind of crime. Attacks can come from any physical place on Earth, and criminals get more and more clever and focused each day. What can a regional power in the Midwest do against global criminal conglomerates? They can be proactive to prevent bad actors from spoiling their reputation, and they can let consumers know they take cybersecurity very seriously.

Managed Security

One solution is to find managed security to protect companies and their web-based data. As the number of cyber threats grows each year, if not each day, the number of managed security providers also grows. Generally, having choice is a good thing as long as the business takes the time to investigate the firm before hiring it. Many businesses will have special needs, and because there are different managed security companies, many have different specialties.

Data protection is important to investigate. Does the managed security company have successful experience in data protection, and do they have successful experience in handling your kind of data that is stored the way that you store yours? You should also determine if you need data to be protected from inside sources as well as outside sources. Some companies are really good at protecting data from hackers, but they do not have the knowledge or experience to determine if someone at work is stealing data.

It is also important to ensure that the people you hire are experienced. Ensure they are more than IT experienced, they need to have some background in cybersecurity, and it is beneficial if they understand the way you put data on the web. If they have no experience in how you do things, they may not see if you have suffered a breach and may not be able to prevent one. 

Find out what different candidates you interview for managed security will do to stay ahead of system and data threats. Yahoo has been hacked at least twice. The question Yahoo should be asking its own cybersecurity team is what they did to prevent the second hack. Did they make changes in how they did things in data storage and protection? Did they make an effort to stay ahead of what cyber criminals might try in the future to access data? 

Companies should be looking for managed security sources that are in communication with other security sources and with customers or consumers that have already been hacked. All of this information is vitally important to learn not only criminals do, but how they think. The more managed cybersecurity pros know, the more likely they will be able to prevent successful security breaches in the future.

Constantly Striving to Improve

Now, ransomware not only gets on certain machines, but it can get into systems. If ransomware successfully gets into a system, according to Forbes magazine, the FBI even recommends going ahead and paying the ransom. So much for America never negotiating with terrorists.

It is important for companies that rely on the collection or dissemination of data to always focus on doing a better job of protecting that data — even if they have never suffered a data breach in the past.

There are things companies can do if they do not hire managed security for their networks, or they can do some things in addition to hiring managed system security.

  1. It’s important to have a policy regulating use of the network. Then, the supervisory team must ensure that employees adhere to the policy.
  2. All important data must be encrypted. Sometimes cyber criminals can get into a system, but if they cannot read the data, they look for easier targets.
  3. Train employees not only how to make the system safer, but why it is important. The employee may know how to change their password when instructed, but they may find a way to game the system and never change the password unless the boss tells me why it is important to do so. 
  4. Use a firewall to ensure outsiders cannot easily get into your network. Also, make certain you have access regarding who can get on the network. Don’t be the company who gets viruses or ransomware because the person vacuuming was able to gain access to the network to check their Facebook post. 
  5. Standardize all security, whether it is company machines, or if someone brings their tablet to work on.

Cybersecurity is a big deal. Thieves find new ways to get to unprotected data, so whether you do it all in-house, or whether you bring in an outside team, it is important to do all you can to protect your network and your data.